Distinguished business leaders join URI Harrington School Advisory Board

KINGSTON, RI – The University of Rhode Island’s Harrington School of Communication and Media has named five new members to its Executive Advisory Board to serve two-year terms. These distinguished individuals come from the fields of public relations, technology, business, broadcasting and journalism and are charged with helping advance the Harrington School to become a school of regional, national and global distinction.

Alan Soucy is chief executive officer of Sparkpr, an independent technology public relations agency ranked number 53 in the Top 100 U.S. Agencies by PRWeek. Clients include Skype, Bing and Flickr. Soucy is a URI alumnus who lives and works in San Francisco.

Ryan Bonafacino is vice president of Digital Strategy at Alex + Ani, one of Rhode Island’s leading companies. Before joining the firm, Bonafacino developed an interactive marketing agency with a niche in private equity and venture capital.

Douglass Rushkoff is a media theorist and author of 19 books, including Present Shock, which explores the impact of digital technology on our sense of present and past. He also advises Codecademy.com to help promote digital literacy. Other books include Program or Be Programmed, Life Inc, Media Virus, Coercion, and Cyberia. His PBS Frontline documentaries include The Merchants of Cool and The Persuaders.

Bill Densmore is a journalist and technology entrepreneur who helped found Journalism That Matters, a network of concerned journalists working across business and public sectors to envision how the future of information innovation best supports communities in a democracy. Densmore is involved in the Rhode Island Digital City initiative, which is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island Foundation.

Linda Fantin is director of Public Insight Journalism for Minnesota Public Radio. She works on identifying, experimenting and nurturing models for combining creative engagement, collaborative reporting and innovative storytelling.

Bruce Marable is co-founder and chief marketing officer of Defined Clarity, a design and technology firm that specializes in designing and developing websites, custom web-based applications, and human capital management software. Marable has specialized in search engine marketing for Fortune 100 companies at the interactive marketing agency Razorfish.

“We are delighted to engage with these remarkable leaders,” said Renee Hobbs, professor and founding director of the Harrington School of Communication and Media, “as we aim to create dynamic synergies with the business community that help us advance real-world learning to prepare students for successful careers.”

Located at URI in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Harrington School was created as the result of a generous gift from URI alumnus Richard Harrington, former chief executive officer of Thomson/Reuters, who is working closely with the director to build a school of regional, national and global distinction.

Members of the Executive Advisory Board play an active role in helping to advance innovation at the Harrington School. Along with Harrington School students and faculty, Soucy and Rushkoff will participate in a live Google Hangout to discuss the development of a new integrated media major for the school. The Google Hangout will take place on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 3:30 p.m.

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